Tourism could contribute over $36.1b during the next decade to Pakistan’s economy

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LAHORE: Improvements in Pakistan’s security conditions has resulted in increased tourist arrivals by more than three times since 2013 touching 1.75 million by end of 2016.

Domestic travel has also contributed to this rising trend, increasing 30 percent to touch 38.3 million as per state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), said a Bloomberg report.

According to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism contributes 6.9 percent of GDP which translates to US$19.4billion for the Pakistani economy. WTTC has predicted that the country will attract over US$36.1billion during the next decade or so.

In August, Profit reported Jovago.pk, the country’s premier hotel booking e-commerce website, released a report on the Pakistani tourism industry which said that tourism made up 7 percent of the country’s total GDP.

And in good news for the hospitality industry, hotel occupancy rate had surged by 80 percent in 2016 from 35 percent during 2015. Jovago’s report predicted that around 10 international chain of hotels are expected to start their operations in Pakistan over the next five years.

Pakistan is considering expanding its visa on arrival service beyond sixteen countries, said Mukhatar Ali, a spokesman for the Pakistan tourism agency.